I have to differ with the author, however, about the status of Damascus Jews. Denying their persecution at certain epochs of Syrian history would obviously be incorrect, but so would to claim that Damascus was hell on earth for its Jewish community. That exactly is what the book tries to push through the reader's mind, quit intentionally.
Robert Gates is not to blame that the ban on homosexual adult leaders was not addressed years sooner, but he must answer for the current plan that seeks to devolve anti-LGBT discrimination to all of those faith-based chartered organizations that might prefer to exclude LGBT parents. This is wrong and divisive.
The book is instructive and disturbing on many levels. First and foremost, I was struck by the arrogance and the sense of impunity with which Ally was written. No one who criticizes Israel is spared from Oren's venomous pen. Two targets receive special attention: President Obama and liberal American Jews.